Monday, 31 March 2014
Previously published on www.manxathletics.com
Michael George has confirmed that he will not be defending his Manx Telecom Parish Walk title in 2014.
The 48 year old Welbeck Hotel proprietor will have an operation on his knee next week. His preparation came to a halt when on a family holiday in Australia over Christmas and, despite some training since, the knee has continued to cause concern to the point where he thought his athletics career may have been over.
He has chosen to have private treatment to shorten the wait for the necessary treatment and to recuperate at a time of year when his business can cope.
In 2012 he set the pace for a record breaking Parish Walk only to be passed by joint winners, Richard Gerrard and Vinny Lynch, in the final seven miles. He was determined to avenge his defeat last year but vowed that, no matter what happened, it would be his final Manx Telecom Parish Walk.
After tasting victory he soon changed his mind and his success gave him confidence, with guidance from coaches Martin and Graham Young, to “raise the bar” in 2014. This is not a reference to any structural changes at the Welbeck but to a belief that the record will not last for too many years.
But don’t be fooled if you see him on the start line. “If all goes well I will walk some of the course as a part of my rehabilitation" he said on Thursday evening. (photo Ben Lambden)